Friday, April 26, 2013

149th Street LIRR bridge still closed with no answers

From Eyewitness News:

The bridge that crosses the railroad tracks in Flushing, Queens on 149th Street between Roosevelt and 41st Avenues is still not open to the public.

It's a brand new bridge rebuilt for $4 million.

It was set to re-open in May 2012, nearly a year later, but 11 months later, not a single car has driven over it.

Back in February Eyewitness News reached out to the City Department of Transportation asking whether any "defects were found during the (bridge's) inspection."

Stone-walled by DOT, Eyewitness News filed a Freedom of Information request and still there are no answers.

"It's almost like a cover-up is going on," State Sen. Tony Avella said.

Queens State Senator Tony Avella ran into the same wall of silence.

"This contract was done by a city agency with public dollars, we should know what's happening," Avella said.

Documents Eyewitness News obtained reveal that the builder is "Unicorn Construction Enterprises" which has been contracted to refurbish many bridges throughout the city.

Discovering how many contracts Unicorn has had with the city, more than 20 since 2008, Eyewitness News decided to go right to the top with our questions.

"There were issues with the concrete and we're not going to open a bridge until its safe," said Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC DOT Commissioner.

Sure enough, a closer look at the bridge shows cracks running the entire length of its new concrete span and the DOT installed sensors to monitor the cracks.

Eyewitness News asked the Commissioner why her DOT inspectors failed to discover the defective concrete sooner.

But it didn't open until after the refurbishment project was done and the money was spent.

"I can't really say anything else because we're looking at legal action right now. The bridge will remain closed until it is safe to the travelling public," Sadik-Khan said.

"We've been trying for weeks to get the inspection reports on the bridge. It is a public document. Will you release that to Channel 7?" Hoffer asked.

"I'll have to get back to you, I don't know what the status of that is," Sadik-Khan said.


The Flushing Phantom said...

Isn't that the job of CB7's chair Gene Kelty (if you can ever contact him) and Councilman Koo (if he even gives a damn) to find some answers?

Hey folks, wake up...especially you LIRR riders!

Some day that overpass might collapse on the train you're taking home to PGreat Neck.

Peter Koo lives in Port Washington,
but maybe he drives home and isn't worried.

Anonymous said...

Where is CB#7's transportation committee honcho...sitting on his hands...or too busy extending his palms to receive a payoff?

Anonymous said...

Who did the bridgework, a crooked dentist?

Anonymous said...

Eyewitness News asked the Commissioner why her DOT inspectors failed to discover the defective concrete sooner.

They were busy inspecting bike lanes and streets that have been closed to make them pedestrian malls...

Anonymous said...

"we should know what's happening"

Yea because people have a track record of being transparently honest....

Anonymous said...

Probably the contractor was either mobbed up or related to someone in the DOT.

Anonymous said...

Peter Koo doesn't have any answers.

Even if he did, nobody can understand him.

He speaks a dialect of "Chingrish".